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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going to use model s large rear drive unit and probably an ev west controller. Getting the suspension up to date and some more meat on the ground. Waiting on fenders. Kinda hung up on the battery choices at the moment.
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That's a lot of rubber, and it looks like a solid car to work with. :)

Getting the suspension up to date...

View attachment 125807
By "up to date", do you mean "completely replaced with something unrelated to the Beetle", or just "new shocks and bushings", or something in between? I see CV joints (a good start ;)), but while detail is hard to see what is there looks like original Super Beetle semi-trailing arms (and struts in the front).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's a lot of rubber, and it looks like a solid car to work with. :)


By "up to date", do you mean "completely replaced with something unrelated to the Beetle", or just "new shocks and bushings", or something in between? I see CV joints (a good start ;)), but while detail is hard to see what is there looks like original Super Beetle semi-trailing arms (and struts in the front).
Sticking with vw parts. Just literally replacing everything. Urethane bushings, big front and rear sway bars etc. also added front and rear truss bars. the McPherson strut set up seems to work really well on these.
 

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So, I was curious to see what's needed, beyond rear lawn mower engine logically replaced with Tesla LDU, and confirmed my suspicions on what's needed to keep from shredding the sheet metal with the power levels:

 

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So, I was curious to see what's needed, beyond rear lawn mower engine logically replaced with Tesla LDU, and confirmed my suspicions on what's needed to keep from shredding the sheet metal with the power levels:

Ah, that's the concern. People having been engine-swapping Beetles and multiplying their power for decades, so while this is a legitimate concern it's not specific to EV conversion or the Tesla components. I knew a guy in high school who built a Beetle that would (briefly) lift the front tires off the line on a drag strip. Still, a Tesla SDU would be a more rational match. If the Chevrolet Bolt drive unit isn't too wide, it would be even better (for packaging and mass distribution).

I suspect that the massive front battery pack is as much of a structural concern as the drive unit.

Most of the features shown in the video have nothing to do with handling increased power, and according to the description only minimal bracing of a subframe to the stock structure has been done; nothing forward of the frame horns. It even has the stock suspension design (with just springs and shocks changed).
 

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He has relied on tires/axles as fuses and seems sensible about easing power in. He's basically steering the LDU, lol. He hinted that he's tied his subframe into the roof arch, using tubes and sheet metal doublers, and braced the frame horns.

The situation becomes very different when you put big meats on with a drag compound tire and you floor it.

Lifting the front wheels off on a stock bug (especially with the cantilever a small block Chevy creates, for instance) is very different than lifting all that front battery off with instantaneous full torque from a DU that I'm guessing weighs about the same as the original engine/transaxle. It's like hitting the chassis with a huge sledgehammer.

This will be an interesting conversion 馃嵖
 

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Lifting the front wheels off on a stock bug (especially with the cantilever a small block Chevy creates, for instance) is very different than lifting all that front battery off with instantaneous full torque from a DU that I'm guessing weighs about the same as the original engine/transaxle. It's like hitting the chassis with a huge sledgehammer.
Absolutely... although this thing won't lift the front tires (and the high school Beetle had a 2.0L VW 4-cylinder boxer). The point is just that a non-rusty Beetle won't fold up just because you put in a lot of power and sticky rear tires. Be careful about structure, yes, but this isn't new territory or unworkable.

The handling of the resulting vehicle is going to be questionable, if only because the major masses (motor and battery) are beyond the axles. It's essentially the opposite of the optimal vehicle configuration, which is mid-engined.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Absolutely... although this thing won't lift the front tires (and the high school Beetle had a 2.0L VW 4-cylinder boxer). The point is just that a non-rusty Beetle won't fold up just because you put in a lot of power and sticky rear tires. Be careful about structure, yes, but this isn't new territory or unworkable.

The handling of the resulting vehicle is going to be questionable, if only because the major masses (motor and battery) are beyond the axles. It's essentially the opposite of the optimal vehicle configuration, which is mid-engined.
What are your thoughts on a Tesla type pack in the floor? The seats are up on 4鈥 pedestals as it is. Cut out the tunnel and box everything in.
 

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What are your thoughts on a Tesla type pack in the floor? The seats are up on 4鈥 pedestals as it is. Cut out the tunnel and box everything in.
The tunnel is the structure of a Beetle floor, acting as a backbone frame. Since a Beetle body shell is separately constructed from the backbone and floor, and can be separated from the floor, you could build an entirely different frame and floor, complete with suitable points to mount front and rear suspension, and put the Beetle body on that. The new frame could be designed to accommodate a battery under the floor, but then you have two choices:
  1. the entire floor is too high, so you either lose headroom equal to the battery pack thickness or raise the whole car up by that thickness (which is what Tesla and some other EV manufacturers do, usually in "SUV" style vehicles so the height isn't so noticeable), or
  2. the floor has steps in it so the front seat footwell remains and the battery is entirely behind that and shaped to fit where it can stick up (like a Nissan Leaf).
Alternatively, you just build some boxes under the seats, in which you can fit a fraction of a usable battery in small modules ("shoebox" sized, not Tesla-sized).

There's a reason that even the smallest Tesla model is so large - they need the space to carry enough battery in one layer of modules, even using the entire area between front and rear drive units.
 

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Shoebox modules just tossed his 600HP out the window.
It would take a lot of shoebox modules; using 3P4S 2.5 kWh modules a 108S pack would be 36 modules and about 90 kWh (nominal), which is what a Jaguar I-Pace carries and could be pushed hard enough to burst at 600 hp (the I-Pace is rated at 400 hp).

What matters is the total capacity, not how many or few chunks it is split into, and the Beetle isn't going to carry enough battery for 600 horsepower anyway. The one in the video linked earlier has basically two Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid batteries worth of modules (32 kWh)... not 600 hp there, either.
 
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